The Alumni Relations office has launched a podcast, titled “Beyond the Valley,” which features alumni sharing their personal experiences and insights. The first two episodes are available now. For the first six episodes, alumni from different fields -- including mental health, finance, health care, and more -- share some of the challenges and life changes they are facing with the current COVID-19 pandemic. “Beyond the Valley” can be downloaded at the following webpage: https://svsualumni.podbean.com/.
The brave way in which many of our SVSU alumni are fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impress me. Dr. Angela Gregory is among the 40 doctors in the Covenant HealthCare ER treating patients carrying the COVID-19 virus. A 2005 graduate of our biology program, Dr. Gregory states the last few weeks have been the most challenging in her professional life, but she has also experienced moments of inspiration while protecting our community. Thank you, Dr. Gregory and all the healthcare professionals who are stepping up during these times.
Another example of our outstanding alumni playing a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19: 2007 graduate Mitch Gilbert serves as Duro-Last's director of continuous improvement and research development. Mitch has been key to refocusing Duro-Last's resources to provide protective equipment for frontline health care workers. So far, Duro-Last has manufactured 40,000 protective gowns and 15,000 masks for hospitals in the virus hotspots in Michigan. A number of employees in his department are SVSU alumni. To read more about these stories and more, visit SVSU news.
Thank you to Tony Bowrin and David Bell for your leadership in the Scott L. Carmona College of Business over the years. Tony will be departing SVSU this summer and David's final day on campus was Thursday. Both will be missed, and we wish them well as they pursue new challenges in life.
Tony recently accepted a position as dean of the business college at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. He first joined SVSU in 2009 as a member of our accounting faculty. He was hired as dean of the Scott L. Carmona College of Business in 2017. Tony has been instrumental in the planning and implementation of key programs and initiatives for the academic college, including the state-of-the-art building expansion we opened in February.
David Bell this week retired as our associate director of entrepreneurship, and experiential learning and continuing education, a role that he has held since February 2018. He also has helped develop a number of key initiatives including our Dow Entrepreneurship Institute, positioning that program to provide operational, marketing, financial and strategic analysis for regional business that are facing challenges during the pandemic.
Please join me in honoring the University Writing Awards recipients. Along with receiving cash prizes, these recipients will have their writing published in the upcoming Writing@SVSU issue. Thank you also to SVSU faculty members who continue to support our students! Here are your winners for 2020:
Ruth and Ted Braun Awards for Writing Excellence
Graduate Category: Ann Yaroch
Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Arts and Humanities Category: Bijesh Gyawali
Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Sciences Category: Melanie Ross
College of Education Category: Caroline Helmstadt
Health and Human Services, Nursing and Social Work Category: Crystal Schultz
Science, Engineering, & Technology Category: Natalie Delemeester
General Education Category: Whitney Rakieten
Diane Boehm Writing Award for ePortfolios
Workplace Application Portfolio Category: Allison Stein
Ming Chuan Multilingual Writing Award
Any SVSU Course Category: Bijesh Gyawali
Although we are unable to safely host May 2020 commencement ceremonies as we traditionally do, we will celebrate with our graduates virtually. Please join us on Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m. for a virtual celebration to this year’s graduates that will include remarks from me, Provost Huntley, and each of the five deans. You can find it next Friday at www.svsu.edu/commencement. We also are encouraging the graduates and others to post photos Instagram, using the hashtag #svsu2020. We understand how important this moment is for our grads, so we are working to celebrate their accomplishments now, even as we prepare to welcome them in person for Commencement in December, provided we can safely host ceremonies at that time. Congratulations to the class of 2020 !